Tuesday, January 6, 2015

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A Potpourri of SFR Links (January 2015)

There's a new, reader-centric site where you can share your love of SFR: The SciFi Romance Group. Huzzah! Here's the description and guidelines:
For Lovers of Scifi Romance. A place to chat about Scifi Romance, make friends who love our favorite genre, discuss the issues, latest news, and topics in relation to SFR and the greater SFR Community. Once a month parties with giveaways and scifi romance fun.

The Rules:
1) No Amazon, direct buy links, or 'I just got a review!' sneaky sneaky self-promo-type posts. These result in insta-bans. THIS IS A GROUP FOR FANS/READERS, not for authors to promo.
2) You CAN post contests/giveaways or blog posts about SFR topics, excerpts, and books. Authors, be creative!
3) NO Vote for me or Buy Me or Review Me
4) There will be parties!!
5) We are all adults, and some of us write adult content. We are also a group open to all forms of love and relationships, including LGBT and Polyamory. For us, the universe is much too big to put a limit on love!
5). Scifi Romance is the genre we celebrate here. We reserve the right to exterminate topics. Don’t make us space you! (Please no vampires, shifters, etc)
6) Be kind, be courteous and HAVE FUN!

-- Your Fun Loving Overlords

Episode 274 of the SF Signal podcast features an interview with FORTUNE'S PAWN author Rachel Bach. SFR super fan that I am, I listened to the whole thing so I could pick out some key quotes for you:

Ms. Bach tagged her trilogy as "science fiction" and also "action science fiction also with kissing." She later added, "I love kissing with my plasma rifles."

Ms. Bach shared that heroine Devi is a "fan favorite" and that "I'd never read a book with a heroine like this."

She also tags Devi as "So violent. So different. Unlike any heroine I've ever read."

On the response to the Paradox trilogy, Ms. Bach shared that "People just go crazy over it, especially older women."

On her type of books: "I write stories that are different from genre norms."

On reader response: "Fortune's Pawn has been very popular with the romance crowd. [author] Ilona Andrews loved it."

Ms. Bach also mentioned a book she enjoyed called FLUENCY by Jennifer Foehner Wells. I did a bit of research among the Goodreads reviews (trying mightily to avoid spoilers in case I decide to check it out!) and discovered a) the book seems to skew toward romantic SF and b) the romance may not resolve in this volume. If you've read FLUENCY, let us know if it has appeal for SFR readers!
The hook is pretty high concept. Here's the cover and blurb:
NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it. 
The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse.

The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, "You are home."

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive. 
***
At Spacefreighters Lounge, Laurie A. Green discusses her love of Rachel Bach's Paradox trilogy in Ringing in 2015: "I give it 5 big stars."
Who would love this series? Anyone who enjoys action-packed SFR with a kickass heroine and a hero who turns out to be her equal, but sometimes her enemy. If you like things that blow up, crash and burn, and crunch and shatter galore you'll love these books. If you like a non-stop adrenaline pusher, this is the series for you. It also has a pretty nifty romance interwoven into all that POW and ZAP!
Devi's suit of armor probably does make her unique among SFR heroines, but in terms of her other qualities there are definitely SFR heroines who are violent, kickass fighters with strong ambitions and cool weapons. For adrenaline rush SFR action-adventures with Devi-style heroines, check out the following titles (listed in alphabetical order by author). Quite a few also feature "enemies-to-lovers" romances!
ALPHA - Catherine Asaro (if we're talking fan favorites, this one is mine!)
PERDITION - Ann Aguirre
MOONSTEED - Manda Benson
HEART OF STEEL - Meljean Brook
LADY ROGUE - Cinnamon Burke
BLUE NEBULA - Diane Dooley
AGENT PROVOCATEUR - Nathalie Gray
QUEENIE'S BRIGADE - Heather Massey (in the interest of full disclosure, that's me!)
Related posts:

In case you missed them, here are two must-read posts by Cora Buhlert:


Mixed updates and more on hard sf and messy emotions (includes links to other posts on the topic)


A book I'm considering:

ROBOTICA by Kal Cobalt

Five erotic stories of robot-human relations, exploring the future of humanity, sex, and desire. In Cobalt's futures, artificial intelligences can have very real emotions, and humans can be just as confused, turned on by, and obsessed with their robot lovers as they are by any others. The stories have a delicious homoerotic edge even as they question what gender means to a robot mind. Or heart.

***

Help a reader out: Rebekah Weatherspoon is on the hunt for "SFF romance authors/titles w/WOC leads."

Joyfully yours,

Heather